Monday, June 3, 2013

Stepping Up a Notch

Back when I made plans for the summer to write all the time, things were simple: I had a job, I had a list of things I wanted to write. Since  then, it's become more complicated. My job is less likely to provide additional income. That's the major upset to the plans. In other areas of life, things have actually improved.

My initial intenton back in March was to just write all the time. Then, the Heart in Mouth competition happened, and I found a greater interest in poetry than I've ever had before. A consequence of this is that in my plans for what I hope to achieve by September's end, I'm looking to submit a few dozen poems in the next four months, along with fiction of various lengths. I plan on entering competitions and submitting to journals and hoping, hoping, that something will pay off. That sort of desire to get my poetry out there didn't really exist two months ago.

A further consequence of this is that I need to be writing a lot more poetry. I have ideas in mind to keep the poetry going, some large projects that need attending to. However, I'm also planning on following an example set by Dave Lordan: write a poem every day. I'm testing that this month, and if it goes well I'll do it again in July. That's 61 poems. I cannot guarantee they'll be any good, mind you; that seems to happen to me without my intending it, though always when I attempt to write a certain type of poem. When I reach in to myself, when I attempt to write about something close to me, that's when I find the heart of my poetry, the emotions needed to create something worth reading, worth experiencing, and the words almost fall into place themselves.

Other factors that have played a part in this are the people I meet. Specifically, in one instance, the friends I've been writing with for the past couple of years in college (more so in the last year) have been driving me towards trying to do better. They inspire a certain confidence in me, and when we get together to read poetry or short stories, I feel like I learn something from every one of them.

They've made me want to pursue old dreams. They'll understand in reading this what I might mean, given the sorts of things we talk about. Grandiose projects in development are making me want to spend a lot more time at my craft, and to reach out to other writers.

Reading particular books has inspired me towards trying to achieve more. One such example, mentioned before, is the 4 Hour Work Week. It's not that I only want to write for four hours of the week, but that I want to have a lifestyle that befits my aspirations. I don't think I could be happy just accepting life as is, falling into place in a job (and worse: one I don't enjoy.)

I want to step it all up a notch, and I know that I have to. That, I think, is why I haven't been working as much as I ought to all the time. I think part of me is afraid of failing if I actually apply myself fully, as if writers aren't meant to be prepared for rejection. You know what, to hell with rejection! It's not really much to be afraid of, in the end. It's an absense of someone seeing your work or your life in the same way you do, or in a way that fits their needs. That is not something I can change, and it's not something I should dwell over.

What I'm saying is, I'm going to try harder to actually stick to my plans. I don't care that I'll be insanely busy and half-mad by the end of it with all the wild characters in my stories getting out. I love it. I love writing, and I want to stop being so afraid to do more of it. I've gone through this sort of stuff too much in the past to just let it happen again, because I know that I only ever feel flustered and deflated and ultimately angry at myself for not putting in even a little bit of work when I should have done.

I'm stepping it up a notch. I'm going to make sure that the past eight years of my life haven't all been to get scared when things start getting serious.

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